Thursday, April 26, 2012

OSHA Fines Manufacturer $46,000 for Fire Extinguisher, Emergency Exit Sign

In a June 20, 2011 news release, the US Department of Labor OSHA announced that they had cited Spears Mattress Co. in Rome, Ga for 14 serious safety violations. Penalties totaled $45,850.

The violations included improper storage of oxygen and acetylene compressed gas cylinders, fire extinguishers not mounted or identified, a malfunctioning emergency exit sign, walking and storage areas cluttered with flammables and heavy equipment, missing machine guards on equipment, a drill press that was not secured to prevent movement during operation, improperly adjusted bench grinders and allowing an employee to operate a forklift with non functioning emergency brakes. There were also several electrical code violations identified.

One of the things that a Facility Manager may find significant with this story is that it was a pop-in inspection by OSHA. There is a belief that OSHA only shows up after an incident, but that was not the case here. OSHA began this inspection as part of its Site-Specific Targeting Program, which focuses enforcement efforts on industries that report higher-than-average injury rates.

It has been this author's experience from participating (as a facility owner) in OSHA and EPA audits, that having your documentation in order is an absolute necessity for surviving these audits.

Three of the findings that this manufacturer was cited for were things that should be on periodic safety equipment inspections. These include forklifts (daily or at the beginning of each shift), fire extinguishers (monthly) and Emergency Exit Signs (monthly).

Forklifts inspections are typically documented using logbooks stored on the forklift. A great source for forklift logbooks (or any other type of logbook) is These inspections can also be documented using FDPMobile our handheld data collection software.

Managing inspections of safety devices that are spread out around a facility, such as emergency lights, lighted exit signs, fire extinguishers and eyewash safety showers is made very easy by using a mobile software like FDPMobile. Inspection results are entered into the mobile device at the time of the inspection, then uploaded to an easy to use web application, where missed inspections or deficiencies that were identified during inspections can be easily tracked. To see a case study of how the FieldDataPro solution is used to manage safety inspections follow the link below.


  1. That's a lot of money to pay for a citation but, whatever amount it is, it is not going to be enough to actually pay for fatalities if ever such mistake punishes an innocent worker due to employer negligence. One way to avoid this is by taking up osha online programs.

  2. Fire Exit signs are a very important safety precaution because they can save lives in the event of a fire emergency. When using these signs in a building, it’s important to display them in such a way that everyone can easily see and understand them.

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